Wednesday, June 06, 2007

When the spirit moves you

Spirituality. For me, it ebbs and flows. I'm usually too caught up in the brick and mortar world to spend much time trying to get in touch with things spiritual. And lately, I've been feeling especially bereft, spiritually. Not long ago, this was different. I spent time each morning in meditation and prayer. I felt my connection to a higher power, a life source, God. Not lately. I guess I just work too much.

Finally taking some time to dig in the dirt of my garden this weekend, I felt reconnected with earth, always a good first step to connecting with the spiritual side of life. How can you observe all the amazing things of the natural world without feeling a connection to something so much bigger than yourself?

Then on Sunday, I met a man who seems to spend a great deal of his time in the spiritual plane. More work for me, though. I went to a press conference on the Sound in Wading River, held by a man who was starting a 35 day vigil to protest Broadwater. Well, protest isn't exactly the right word. His vigil is held to "invoke the spirit of nature," the spirit of the Sound, to stop Broadwater.

Now, protests I can relate to. Vigils to invoke the spirit of a body of water to rise up and stop a development project... Well, that's not something I understand very well.

I expected the guy to be a crackpot, if you want to know the truth. What I found when I met Pete Maniscalco at Wading River Creek Sunday afternoon was something else entirely. Sure, what he's doing is really sort of "out there" — but he is intelligent and thoughtful and a delight to speak with. (And quite a good interview.) He exudes an inner peace. I found myself wondering what it would be like to camp out on the Sound for more than a month, to spend all that time meditating, praying, communing with Mother Earth and the spirit of nature. I have a hard time sitting still and being quiet (without reading or writing) for more than five minutes.

So I asked him to blog about his experience for our papers. After explaining to him that a blog is sort of an online journal, he readily agreed to do it. He'd planned to keep a journal anyway, he said. So every day at around 5 p.m. for the next month, Pete is going to phone in his blog entry to me, and I am going to type what he dictates and post it on a blog I've created for him, which I called Pete's Broadwater Vigil.

To learn more about Pete and his vigil, read one of Times/Review's papers this week. And please do check out his blog, and post your own comments about what he's doing, feeling and thinking about. I think this could be a very interesting community dialogue about an extremely important subject.


BE said...

This is a great idea Denise!
thanks so much for helping us get reconnected too.

Ceil said...

Hi Denise - To have a spiritual center is paramount in balancing
the "brick and mortar" of life.

To know there is something that I can choose partner with, not only during the challenging times, which we all experience, but during ordinary times gives a new richness to life.

It takes dedication and determination to set aside time during the day to connect with our life source. Digging in the garden is a start. A walk on the beach. A whisper of thankfulness.

Read Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, especially the concluding lines...Reminds me of Pete Maniscalco and his vigil on the Sound.

I knew a unique man (gone to eternal rest now ) who Mr. Maniscalco reminds me of. He was one with nature and got there through communing with nature on a daily basis. He studied and embraced the American Indian Culture.

An aside.... When he died he was given both the traditional Episcopal and the Native American burial Service. Everyone present
felt a deep spiritual connection - even if only for an hour of the Service.

Thanks for offering Pete's blog, I will check it out today...

Anonymous said...

Hi! This may not be the right place but I know that you do some great stuff with the News Review and was wondering if they would consider featuring some of the students/young adults from Riverhead/North Fork. We have so many success stories that could be shared. Helps to build pride in our town and show how good our schools are. We have models, actors, business owners, etc. Maybe a weekly column on someone different each week would be really cool?